Sunday, January 22, 2017
Australia: State government encouraging workers not to use ‘wife’, ‘husband’
This is from last year but I think it remains notable
THE Victorian Government has come under fire for encouraging workers to not use the words “wife” or “husband” to avoid offending LGBTI colleagues.
The recommendation was released in the Inclusive Language Guide earlier this year which says workers should avoid “heteronormative’’ terms and instead use works like ‘’partner” to refer to loved ones.
Minister for Equality Martin Foley has defended the document saying there was no ban, the guide suggests “you should try and avoid the use of husband and wife.’’
The recommendations have been labelled as over the top by Opposition spokesman Tim Smith.
“People should be respectful to everyone regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, sexuality and appearance, but once again Daniel Andrews is dividing people with his over the top ideological nonsense,” Mr Smith said.
“Victorians are being swamped by a violent crime wave and skyrocketing electricity bills but Daniel Andrews is focused on people using heteronormative terms such as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’.
“This isn’t just creating unnecessary division it’s also a frightening waste of taxpayers’ money when respect and common sense is what’s needed.”
Mr Foley said language guidelines were standard practice.
“This is not a new document — and follows a long standing practice of government departments having guides on language,’’ he said.